Thursday, December 23, 2010

11 Things





1. I am a working on new poem. What rhymes with 'dry skin'?

2. I got only two Christmas cards this year. I guess you babies finally got sick of not getting any in return from me… well, your loss. Now I don't get to put YOUR card on my mantle. But I did post Kari's Charlie Harper bird Christmas card, which said, "Hey Girl Hey, it's Christmas!" WORD.

3. Wait, Christmas is 2 days away… Really? Really. That's great. Way to sneak up on me again, Christmas. Oh hey, guess what… I didn't any of you fools anything - again. Sorry 'bout that. But I really do think about you a lot, ok? Ok. I'm glad we're made up now. Yay!

4. I forced my boyfriend to put up my three foot Christmas tree with me, even though he kinda hates Christmas. Then I forced him to decorate ANOTHER new Christmas tree with me, this one a whopping two feet, because I thought it would look "cuter." (It was white, like it had built-in snow.) Then I decided I hated the white one and the put the original one back up. Merry Christmas!

5. My new scooter made it to its new home two weeks ago. I rode it through a parking lot then quickly handed it over to Dean for the heavy lifting of driving it downtown. Is it springtime yet?! Did anyone get me those goggles I asked for for Christmas? What about gloves, did you get me the gloves?!

6. Said to me last week: "Ummm, you just planted a big one on me, in front of everybody, at lunch rush, in Chipotle... And all your stories are about heartache and misery." Translation: Eating burritos with me is awesome.

7. We used to play this game called "stand and take it" when I worked at the Enquirer. The "game" consisted of letting your coworker kick a beachball at you and you couldn't protect your face or hoo-ha area, you just had to "stand and take it." This was a fun game. But not as fun as the new game in our office called "terrorize your staff with an icicle by shoving it down their back."

8. Speaking of, Boss Man to me: "I don't like this, but if other people in the Institute like it I'm fine with it. I'm able to compartmentalize myself. For example, I don't like you. But you do a reasonable job, so…"

9. Read this. Now let's all get drunk and discuss.

10. My friends are kick-ass and gave me really great, thoughtful gifts this year. And because Rachel loves me extra much she got me Misfortune Cookies. Because nothing says Merry Christmas like a fortune that reads, "What the fu** is wrong with you?" wrapped in a tasty cookie shell. See above.

11. I will repay her (and all my closest friends) with this bad-ass tequila gun sometime in the next five years or so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So Help Me God He Will Pay!

It's been freakin' war, people.

A few weeks ago I slid a Flintstone vitamin into the Boss Man's sandwich, because I was being NICE and because I CARE about him and was trying to make him HEALTHY.

But then he got all bent about it and threatened to kill me. (Oh, I still have the voicemail.)

Like it's my fault they taste bad. I was being HELPFUL. Doesn't anybody recognize kindness anymore. Wtf?

In retaliation he burst into my cubicle last Friday wielding a giant icicle pronouncing it the perfect murder weapon and stabbing it at me all Psycho shower scene. Perfectly calm I said, "Excuse me, sir. I am working hard here, as per usual."

And because he's like, 100 times my age and I didn't want to give the man an angina and go all Chuck Norris on his ass immediately I crouched in pretend fear - oh no! not a giant icicle, I'm sooo scared! - and hunched over my keyboard.

And do you want to know what he did? I will tell you what he did… He stuck that giant icicle down the collar of my shirt and onto my back.

On. To. My. Back. Giant icicle!

It was like an ice-cream headache for my spinal cord. I almost died. I got frost bite. I think I threw a clot, all while dutifully trying to work.

So, totally justified to whup your Boss Man's ass for this, right? Damn right, right.

Well, I don't want to start rumors or anything, but I think the old man has been taking steroids. We were scuffling over this icicle, me trying to shove it down his shirt and him trying to stop me, and he was getting the best of me.

I mean really. I am young. I am sinewy. I am a ninja!

So what if he's got 100 pounds on me, is a man and chops wood as a stress reliever. Steroids. What kind of person goes around stabbing innocent underlings with an icicle if they're not 'roid-raging. Only the kind that's 'roid-raging, I say.

Or, I might have body dysmorphic disorder y'all, because in my head I am a total badass who can pretty much beat up anyone. Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven? Yeah, I taught him that shizz. Bourne Ultimatum? I choreographed the stunts.

I was straight up about to Moonwalk across his face when... umm, sniff-sniff... the Boss Man started batting me around like a kitten with a ball of yarn, easily overpowering me as I got all red faced and sweaty and yelled things like, "You're old! How on earth are you stronger than me?! Hold still!"

In my head I exploded into a 12-foot high in-air somersault where upon I came down on him like a hurricane and gently but firmly planted that icicle onto the back of his neck, down his stupid shirt and onto his back where I welded it (with my laser beam eyes) with dry ice there forever. Bwahahahaha!

Except in reality my wrists were getting red and sore from struggling to get away from him so I could maybe possibly kinda get the icicle near his head.

Needless to say I spent the weekend licking my wounds and lamenting to anyone who would listen that my old Boss Man bested me in a physical icicle confrontation. Imma start training tomorrow for a rematch, y'all. I'm gonna go all Rocky on him.

Imma look like this, outfitted solely in gray sweats, doing things au naturale - like running stairs and tromping through chest-high snow.




He's gonna continue to roid, just like Drago.



God revenge is gonna be so sweet. Down, I say. He is going DOWN.

I need an Apollo. Sure you'll have to die but it will be worth it because I'll win. Who's with me?!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

So Awesome Your Spark Plugs Will Short Out



I make a lot of difficult decisions - frozen pizza or delivery, for example. But none more difficult than my decision Saturday - the blue scooter or the black scooter. Or what about the red scooter... oooh orange!

Friday before I left work the Boss Man told me the blue one matched my "icey" personality. Carolyn said anybody can drive black. But my boyfriend was in favor of the black because if he ever took it for a spin a powder blue scooter is... so badass he couldn't handle it! (Ok that's not exactly what he said.)

The red looked more retro to me. The blue one was so cute I wanted to hug it. But ooh shiny! Look at the black one!

The guys from Metro tried to help me decide. Ray (my boyfriend not my dad) tried to help too. Even a stranger weighed in. But ultimately everyone walked away because I had that "all you dudes need to drink a big cup of shut the hell up so I can think because this is serious!" look on my face.

Then, the baby blue scooter was all "Helloooo soulmate." And I was all, "You my Boo!"

So, with all due respect to my first love, Stella, I can now go 60 on my new baby blue ride. 'Cause that's exactly the kind of bad-assery I need on two wheels.

Then I celebrated at The Precinct with steak and wine and crack potatoes. So basically Saturday was the best day of my life.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sweet Jesus, Phil. Buck Up!

Damn, y'all. You know who has it bad? Phil Collins.

I just read an interview with him in Rolling Stone about how sucky his life is because everyone hates him because he was the soundtrack of the '80s and he's been divorced three times and he can't drum anymore because of nerve damage or something and he just wants to "end it all" because he hates being "Phil Collins" so he makes his new girlfriend call him Phillip. And you can tell he's kinda losing it because he thinks the dust orbs in his photos are "paranormal" energy and that he lived a past life.

Daaang, Phil.

Except all this makes me giggle because whenever I think of Phil Collins I smile because of that 30 Rock scene:

Tracy Jordan: "I'm gonna make you a mix tape. You like Phil Collins?"
Jack Donaghy: "I have two ears and a heart, don't I?"

Do not be discouraged, Phil. The drum solo to In The Air Tonight is enough to live for! Oh wait, you can't drum anymore. Shit. Phil, you're throwing it all away! Wait one more night! I bet you and your girlfriend have a groovy kind of love!

It's still gonna rain down? Well ok, but you'll always have an invisible touch-ay in my heart, Phil.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! (Who Needs a Xanax?!)

Let's talk about how Ray (my boyfriend) met Ray (my dad) on Thanksgiving and now I'm pretty sure that Ray (my dad) is going to shoot Ray (my boyfriend).*

Really dad? Like it's not suspicious you asked him to go hunting a half-dozen times? Really?

* Yes, they have the same name. I know. I KNOW.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Talk About Your All Time Slaps in the Face With A Tutu



I got up early on Saturday all excited to cash in my adult ballet Groupon and they didn't have adult ballet this weekend.

Outrage!

So I went to the grocery store in pink tights, furry boots and a bun in my hair.... Which is to say I looked like everyone else at Hyde Park Bigg's on a Saturday morning.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In A Name



Had I been a boy I'd have been named Clint… as in Eastwood.

My dad talks about "Eastwood" as if he's an old family friend. "You see Eastwood on TV last night?"

He even squints and mumbles and walks around enacting justice and barking orders like he's in an endless loop of Dirty Harry.

Ray and Clint. Peas and carrots. Spaghetti and westerns.

My mom wanted to name me Wayne, except my dad hates John Wayne, so… overruled.

Because my mom had already had two boys she was certain I'd be a boy. Clint it was. But just in case they decided Gina would do for a girl.

Gina, pronounced... G-Na.

Gina shortened from Regina, meaning "queen."
Or "silvery," if you're Japanese. (Cause you know, lots of Japanese girls are named Gina.)
"Garden," in Hebrew.
The pet of the Latin Virginia, meaning "maiden" and the English pet form of Georgina, meaning "earth-worker" or the Italian Luigina, meaning "warrior."

A name meaning placard I had as a kid pronounced girls named Gina "mischievous." It's the only description I've lived up to thus far.

Gina is a family name on both sides. I have a cousin on my mom's side, Gina Michelle, and another cousin on my dad's side, Gina Lynn. They both go by their middle names and are both about 12 years my senior.

I was named after my dad's niece, who he affectionately calls "crazy Lynn" because she is vivacious and fun and prone to talking out of turn and saying hilarious things.

I had a lot to live up to.

The most famous Gina is probably Gina (Luigina) Lollobrigida, an Italian actress and dancer popular in the '50s. Or Geena Davis, but she doesn't really count with the double "e"s.

But Gina G totally counts, depending on if you remember that one hit wonder from the mid-'90s. (World's biggest tragedy is that this amazing performer stopped making music.)

At work GINA is best known as the acronym for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

G-dawg is a common variant. But mostly people call me Gina or G, depending on when you met me and how you know me. If you met me through work you call me Gina. If you met me in college or high school you call me G.

If you know me through my kin you have completely forgotten that my first and middle names are actually separate and you call me Gina Lynn, with a southern twang, as in "Gee-na Lynn, time for supper!"

My birthday was last month and as I was chatting with my mom about the momentous occasion that was my birth we giggled at her first words to me, "A girl!! What am I going to do with a little girl?! Awww, she's beautiful." Then she passed out.

Then she said, "Your dad wanted to name you Clint. I'm glad you were a girl."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sun Also Rises





Just home from the Florida coast where I saw the sun come up. Which got me to thinking, when was the last time I watched the sun come up? Hmm... Guess I'm more of a The Sun Mostly Sets kinda girl.

The highlight of the trip was an unplanned excursion to Key West and the Hemingway Home and Museum. To be honest, I was lured in by the ridiculous number of cats I saw through the fence. Fueled by a strawberry daiquiri and a mango margarita I was overcome with a deep desire to pet them all.

But then I was surprised at how much impact and inspiration the house had on me, less because of the books and belongings in it and more because I learned a lot about the man. Hemingway has a terrific life story, full of great and perilous adventures, famous writerly and artistic friends, multiple wives and unfortunate injuries.

The stuff great stories are made of.

Later that night on a barstool I was chatting with a fishing boat captain (seafarers love me, apparently), a couple from Rhode Island and a plastic surgeon from Boston about the novella The Old Man and the Sea. The woman from Rhode Island hated it.

It's been ten years or better since I read it, but I remember loving it and thinking in spite of everything it was more a book about triumph rather than defeat, even though the only image I could conjure from the story was that of the old man coming back with the giant marlin skeleton, evidence of his luck and subsequent misfortune at sea.

I thought about reading it again to see if I'd have the same perspective but I'm not going to. I don't want to ruin it. I was a lot smarter back then; god knows how I could screw up that novel by reading it now.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore



Presents for me are always from my mom. I open them up and my dad looks over and excitedly says, "What'd I get you?!"

In his defense, he bought me a sapphire necklace about 10 years ago for Christmas, and another time when I was in the hospital I sent him to the gift shop for a toothbrush and he bought me a very small stuffed bear. But other than that, presents from my dad are A) scarce and B) random.

Umm, thanks, Dad, for the... pliers?

I'm glad you like them. I saw them at an auction and thought of you.

Awesome.


But this year he kept saying he had a birthday present for me... and that it was "starting to smell."

Usually my mom tips me off to any strange presents he might send my way so my reaction isn't one of complete bewilderment.

She was silent this year when I pressed her.

Hmm... Suspicious.

Last weekend he stood beside me as I unwrapped my birthday present. When he told me to be careful cutting the tape off the box I envisioned god knows what oozing out from the puncture wound, smelling like rotten garbage and prepping for my "ooh, what a nice surprise!" face.

Then, I was legitimately surprised.

He'd made me an afghan. I'd forgotten that during the hunting off-season last winter he'd started crocheting again after a one-off afghan he made 20 years ago.

And there it was. I was smitten. He made my porch swing, has built me bookshelves and flower boxes and countless picture frames and stands. Those things are what he does. This is different.

I don't think I've ever loved a present a more. I gushed over it sincerely and even admired his color choices, black and gray, to better hide cat hair.

Initially he had plans to make all three of his sisters one, my mom's two sisters one and me one. But that was before the afghan meltdown of 2010, where stitching turned to bitching and he had to redo all of his work - twice.

He thought he was getting faster. At first it took him 40 minutes to complete a row, then 35, then 30. Before long he was down to 20 minutes per row.

But when he was nearly finished and finally spread it all out on the living room floor my mom goes, "Why is one side shorter than the other?"

"Damn it all, Gina Lynn," he told me. "I wasn't getting faster, I was dropping stitches!"

There's a sentence I never thought I'd hear my masculine old man say.

So he pulled it out and started over.

The ladies at Jo-Anne Fabrics thought he was buying yarn for his wife and adored how sweet he was to shop for her at the craft store. When they found it was him doing the crocheting they admired his diversity and told him, "Isn't crocheting so relaxing!"

"Bullshit," he said. "I can't watch TV while I'm doing it, I got two blisters and my rows got all messed up."

Then he grabbed his bag of yarn and walked out with an, "Afternoon, ladies."

I bet they are still gossiping about him.

"I hope you like it because I'm not making anymore," he told me. "I'd die of old age as long as it took me make that one." Then he added he'll be spending this winter where he belongs, in the garage sawing wood and making knife cases and porch swings.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hot Type



Today we gave one of our cardiologists a mock-up of a newsletter with Lorem Ipsum filling in the content.

He looked quizzically at my colleague Rachel and was like, "What does this say?"

"It's filler text," she said.

"Oh! I was trying to translate it!"

We adore this doc and started cracking up... Of course he would try to translate it.

And that's why he's a doctor and we're not.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Would You Rather?

There is a gun to your head, you must chose one.

Would you rather read in its entirety:

A.) "The Situations" new tome, Here's The Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting In Your GTL on the Jersey Shore






or

B.) George Bush's new memoir, Decision Points.










Let me help you… Here's a video of The Situation addressing those nagging herpes rumors (and his workout routine) and here is Bushy's thrilling YouTube book trailer.

C.) You could take the bullet... but with A or B you at least get a lesson in how to fail upward.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Heart The Tots



The lights in the cafeteria went out today and the first thing I thought was, "If my tater tots end up missing someone is getting hurt."

Then we all had to evacuate for a Code Gray, which means we were shoo'd out of the cafeteria and into the tunnels and basements. It was just like elementary school when we had to line up against the interior walls, get on our knees and put our hands over the back of our necks.

Except, you know, it kinda wasn't anything like that really… Aside from the fact that I'm still eating tater tots for lunch and my first concern during a tornado is, "Oh no! What about my tots!"

Ok yeah, everything is exactly the same.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Over The Tapas

We're all friends here, right? We like the the same things: 30 Rock, Halloween, Jersey Shore.

Great.

Now the rest of you, for crying out loud, shut-up already about tapas. Just stop it. "Oooh, the new tapas place blah-blebity-blah!"

Guess what, it's not that great.

And you know, now that I'm at it, enough with the martini escapades too. ENOUGH. "Ooh, a mango-tini sugary explosion of diabetes, YUM!"

If you can add "bar" to the end of any word making it doubly pretentious to go there then you get punched and dragged off to Madison Bowl.

I know the rest of you got my back.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Proof It Gets Better



One of my closest friends in high school school was gay.

He wasn't out back then, but we all knew Shane was gay. There was a tight crew of about 5 of us, plus many more of his close friends, and we all knew and nobody gave a crap. It elicited a big fat shrug from us. We didn't try to force him out, we played along with his girl-crushes and we not only tolerated his deep love and affection for Madonna and the endless loop of Like A Prayer and Erotica, we embraced it.

We rolled through our late high school years doing what teenagers do - not taking school very seriously but taking ourselves very seriously.

We were regulars at a diner in town called Alice's, and we spent hours upon hours there drinking coffee (black, like our deep, dark souls) and eating cheesecake (hey, even very serious teenagers have a softspot for cherry topping, ok?!) and discussing life's more significant topics, such as new music, the school's hotties and our high school's theater production of To Kill A Mockingbird, which if we all didn't get a part then life was seriously effed up!

When it got late enough we forked our friends' yards (take that, ya bastards!) and expressed ourselves by dying our hair, driving too fast down residential and country roads and participating in all manner of recreational trespassing and alcohol abuse. (And by alcohol abuse I mean I couldn't drink anything stronger than a wine cooler or 'Seriously guys, I am gonna throw up RIGHT NOW!')

But under the surface of all that teen angst was some real, well, teen angst. We all had our problems to confront. And our friend Shane had problems we hardly even considered. Because even though we didn't care he was gay, other people certainly did, and that culture made him terrified to tell us, his family, the school and... oh god, what if his dad found out.

Life certainly seemed simple. And yet, here was this 16-year-old wrestling with some real life shit.

Shane had some dark secrets and a world awareness that went through him like wrecking ball at times.

In the fall of our senior year of high school he tried to kill himself. There were lots of pills, an ambulance ride to the hospital, and an extended stay at the mental health hospital. Word spread like wildfire at a party most of us were at that night - Shane's been taken to the hospital for a suicide attempt - and that's when shit got real.

The guy who's default was to make self-deprecating jokes and provide hilarious and scathing commentary on all manner of high-school ridiculousness had tried to kill himself? What. The. Hell.

The reasons were many. He was closeted, afraid of who he really was, what it meant and the facade he'd built. Plus he was nursing a broken heart. The rest of us when we were heart broken could at least be open about it and cry on the shoulders of friends. Not him.

When I went to see him the next day in the hospital he had a temporary tattoo of a skull and crossbones stuck to his forehead.

Well, that's a good sign, I thought. And when I went to visit him in the mental health clinic a week later we plotted what we'd do when he got out. Obviously he'd get to ride shotgun in my car from now on. Obviously.

But we didn't talk about what landed him there or why he did it or even if he'd try it again. We'd had dinner together the night before the attempt at my favorite restaurant and the only thing I said at the mental health clinic in reference to what was really happening was a dry, "Was it something I said at dinner?"

To which he replied, "I shouldn't have gotten the veal."

Fortunately, he survived and pressed on and life got a little easier to deal with and our freshman year of college he came out.

We all shrugged when he told us. If anything, we under-reacted. We were trying to show him we didn't care that he was gay because, well, we didn't care that he was gay, but looking back, maybe we should have given it more weight given how difficult it was for him. But we were 18. Plus, we were really, really cool.

A few years later Shane and I were roommates my senior year of college. As in, he slept on the top bunk and I slept on the bottom bunk in an apartment above the campus laundry mat. (We went to school together Kindergarten through college... and I am proud to say I knocked him down with my swing in kindergarten for trying to kiss me, which we later decided was probably what made him gay in the first place.)

We stayed up until 3 a.m. most mornings, still drinking coffee, still dying our hair, and occasionally debating, "If you could take a pill that would make you straight, would you take it?"

The answer was no.

But I know a lot of young and closeted gay folks would say yes. Why wouldn't they want life to be that much easier.

I like to think folks have become more open-minded, more accepting, happy even that Glee is on the air, but when I think about hypocritical megachurch "converts," gay-rights legislation haters, don't ask-don't tell, the ban on gay marriage, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised about the recent spate of gay teens killing themselves.

And yet, somehow, I am. Often I forget what hate-filled, ignorant, awful little trolls people can be. And I forget what it would be like to be a vulnerable gay teenager amongst those haters and imposters.

Today Shane's Facebook status reminded everyone to wear purple. Then there was another update with a list of names, mine included, and the message that he's proof life gets better. His dark tour through the recesses of hate and suicide attempts was almost 20 years ago. I'd nearly forgotten all about it.

Then I remembered, the list of names were of those people who supported and visited him when the skull and crossbones was still stuck to his forehead and he was still afraid to be who he is today.

I am proud to be on that list. I am proud that even at a young age I knew better than a lot of the people today who sit in positions of religious and political power in this country.

And I am proud... wait a second... that rat bastard gave me second billing... Oh hell no! But look, what's this... A picture of us from prom, where I look fantastic, and he looks like a game show host!

If I lived closer I'd fork his yard.

Proof it gets better, and friends are forever.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Gotta Know When To Fold 'Em





Because of the awesomeness of my apartment building, all three dryers went out last Sunday afternoon just as I'd overloaded them with 50 pounds of my sopping wet skivvies.

The woman who's shady kids own the building suggested, "Oh hon… just hang them to dry."

Yes, finally! A use for all that clothesline I have strung-up throughout my apartment.

Bitterly I loaded my wet towels, sheets and v-neck pocket t-shirts from Target (which is pretty much all I wear) into plastic bags and headed for the laundry mat.

If I smoked I would have, because it seems like having a Marlboro Red is the only appropriate way to drive yourself to the laundry mat with bags full of wet clothes. I drove wondering where I had gone wrong in life. What were the turns that lead to me this place - the land of coin operated spinning machinery on a lovely Sunday morning. What, exactly, brought me here... other than the "power surge" to the basement dryers, of course.

Too many are the turns that landed me at Coin Laundry in Oakley, I decided.

The only reason I even knew where a laundry mat was is because it's right across from Domino's Pizza (er, the healthfood restaurant) and I remember seeing it one afternoon while picking up my to-go order of tofu/granola/flax seed stir-fry. (Read: the Pacific Vege pizza at Domino's is kick-ass, y'all.)

This joint must be new, I thought, as I walked into Coin Laundry and marveled at the rows of brushed steel front loaders shouting - EXPRESS! 50 lb capacity! 30 lb capacity! 20 lb capacity!

It was all just numbers to me, so I ignored them and started shoving quarters into the closest machine after carefully reading the directions on the front of a dryer.

Never does it occur to me that my measly bags of sheets and t-shirts probably don't belong in a 50 pound capacity express dryer for 60 minutes.

And that's how I nearly burnt the joint down.

"Those get up to 112 degrees," said the young Coin-Laundry Worker-Girl, as she wiped detergent off a washer and handed out change. "You better check on that stuff after about 12 minutes or your clothes are gonna burn-up."

She was sweet, helpful and smartly intervened again as I started shoving money into the 50 pound capacity washer that was way too big for the three rugs I was going to wash while I was there.

"You should move those to the lowest capacity we have, on the other side," she said. "It's cheaper," and she handed me back the 50 cents I already squandered.

I loved her, I decided. I imagined us being best friends and sharing the cigarette she had behind her ear.

But I wasn't the only newby at the Coin Laundry. As I shoved my rugs into the 20 pound capacity washer I commented to the woman sitting behind me that I was the dumbest person at the laundry mat.

"Girl, I had to read the directions!" she said to me.

"Me too!" I confessed.

Dirty clothes were bringing us together. She and her husband were having their basement redone and she hadn't been to a laundry mat in 20 years, she said.

It's been about 6 for me, I told her.

We agreed that it was a damn fine laundry mat. Clean, new and the staff was very helpful. We bragged about the super-duper burn your clothes up express washers and dryers like they were ours.

I commenced to folding t-shirts as she went back to her magazine and envisioning her new basement, and the Coin-Laundry Worker-Girl went outside to smoke.

I could totally work here, I thought as I folded. You know, if I had to. If the shiz, God forbid, ever went down. I mean, there are worse things than working at the laundry mat. Plus, I'm pretty much an expert on these fancy washers and dryers now, I told myself. I can dutifully wipe fabric softener off of stuff, and I'm great at making change and pushing around wheeled laundry baskets. In my daydream I was an Olympic Folder. No washrag was safe.

Four loads of fresh laundry later, I walked out and told Coin Landry Worker-Girl, who was still outside smoking, that I appreciated her help. Then I told the other woman that I hoped her basement turned out great.

We all hugged and said a teary goodbye. Ok, that part didn't happen. But still. I totally made friends at the laundry mat.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Put-In-Bay Is A Real Place



Or so I'm told. I don't remember much about it, but my clothes smell like booze, bacon and campfire, so I must have had fun.

When my schmoyfriend first invited me for a weekend on the island paradise that is Put-In-Bay I envisioned walks on a rocky beach with the wind whipping my hair and a hoodie comforting me as I read fiction in a chaise lounge... by a lighthouse.

Instead I was trapped on an island that looked distressingly like Alcatraz with his booze-hound friends.

Obviously it turned out far better than I imagined. And I didn't have to read any fiction. Jackpot.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vitamin P... For Poison



I don't know how to tell you guys this so I'm just gonna come out and say it: Flintstone's changed their vitamin formula to poison!

Remember when you were a kid and Flintstone's chewables were delicious, and so taking your vitamin was exciting because they tasted like Pez and you hid under the kitchen table and gobbled down as many as you could?

Well, not anymore my friends.

Last week I excitedly bought a bottle of Flintstone's Complete ("now more complete with choline!" whatever that is) and eagerly handed them out to my coworkers in an effort to boost their immune systems and make them owe me for life. As we chomped down on the red and orange and purple Bam-Bams and Barney's we smiled at how delicious and fun it was to take our vitamins.

YUM! We. Are. So. Healthy!

But then, OMG... The horror! Our smiles quickly turned into poison yuck faces, y'all. It tasted like Fred Flintstone pooped in our mouths. Wtf?! We cursed the bottle - why has thou forsaken us, Flinstone's vitamins?! - and spent the next 20 minutes scrunching up our faces in disgust and attempting to extract the awful, iron-tasting chalky grit from our tongues. All to no avail.

Thanks for ruining our childhoods, Flintstone's. These things are little torture pills now. Give them to your kids (or coworkers) only if you want them to hate you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

UC Has... Fans? Buh-lieve It!





Saturday the University of Cincinnati played Oklahoma at Paul Brown Stadium. I was pretty excited to be one of the nine people there cheering.

Short beer line. Stadium at sunset. Some dudes playing college football. What's not to appreciate.

I think I went to one game during the time I spent at UC in grad school, and I'm pretty sure I only went because several of my classmates were athletic trainers and I thought it would be cool to wave at them.

So we roll up to Paul Brown on Saturday and, What the what?! The joint is packed with people sporting black Bearcats t-shirts and doing some weird UC chant... kinda like the YMCA dance only more tribal-y sounding.

*whoooaaaaa... *whooooooaaaaa... *whooooooaaaaa.... clap-clap-clap-clap... UC!!

The whole time I am fascinated and stunned. I went to UC - hell, I even taught there - and I don't know anybody who went there who was really pumped about it or super excited they exited its dilapidated buildings with a diploma.

But what the hell do I know - nothing apparently - because Paul Brown was filled with all manner of super-fans. Kids and women with little Bearcat logos fake tattooed on their faces and dudes with C-paws on their shirts and hats.

There was even a student section, y'all. A HUGE student section. When it was time for the YMCA, er, UC dance party chant, it was freakin' ON. A whole end-zone of arms shaping the letters "U" and "C."

I was there with an alum who is also a legitimate fan. Like, went to games even when they really sucked. (I am told this was mostly to drink beer. But still.) The whole thing somehow swelled me with a surprising alumni pride.

I might even buy a Bearcats t-shirt now. Or get some C-paw temporary tattoos. 'Cause that's how we fans roll.

Anyway, UC lost by two. At least this is what I'm told... I was busy eating nachos... because that's also how we fans roll.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

He Nags Because He Cares, Right?*

Me: Sign my PTO slip

Boss Man: I just one signed for you!

Me: This is important.

Boss Man: Is this girl stuff?! Then I don't want to hear it.

Me: I have to have the hole in my bladder cauterized.

Boss Man: I didn't hear that.

Me: CAUTERIZED, I said. BLADDER HOLE!

Boss Man: You should be healed by now.

Me: I had radiation.

Boss Man: Stop playing the cancer card! You should be healed by now. You need Vitamins D and K. And probably some B vitamins.

Me: Why, so I can pee them out? Show me the data on vitamins having any value.

Pa-pow, NOW who's asking for the data, Mr. Scientist?!

Boss Man: Your diet sucks. All you eat is fast food and frozen meals.

Ooh... busted.

Me: And cookies! You just gave me a chocolate chip cookie!

Boss Man: Google Vitamin D, you're capable of doing that, right?!

Wow... nutrition advice coming from the man who puts fake chicken broth through his coffee maker and calls it a hot "lunch."

*No, he nags because he's emotionally exhausting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dreaming Is Free



When I grow up I want to be Deborah Harry.

Tgif!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Hemingway Also Probably Said During A Bender

A few beers, some wine, a few pink lemonades with vodka and I said:

"Let's say you live to be 80. You read a book a month. That leaves you only what... (drunken fuzzy math pause) not that many books! There are so many great books you could never read all the perfect, enchanting, heart-wrenching and lovely stories out there. Then someone you like, who you trust and think highly of, and who supposedly should know you, recommends a crappy book. They've totally screwed you out of something spectacular you could have been reading instead. Then what?!"

So he said: "Then they're an a-hole! How $hitty!"

"Exactly!"

"I would never steer you wrong like that!"

"God I hope not because then I would probably have to really hate you!"

Booze: Fueling great thoughts on litch-rah-cha since... forever.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Summer, Wait! Please, I Can Change!



I spent more time at the pool this summer than I have in years. In that way, the summer turned out exactly as I'd anticipated. But in every other way, no.

If someone would have told me in May that things would turn out as they have, I wouldn't have believed them. In fact, I might well have punched that person in the face. (Unless it was you, then I wouldn't have, because I adore you.)

The events, people, friendships, everything, has been... unexpected. Just when you think you have it all mapped out, life decides to go off-roading with your deliberate self.

There have been some Main Events - peach crisps, hospital visits, old friends, fireworks, lakes. But my favorites are the little moments over the big ones. The small things that added up to it feeling like a real summer, the long kind from when you were a kid, when the days and nights and seemed endless and enduring.

Summer 2010 was all iced-tea, grilled vegetables, sunscreen and surprising new partners-in-crime. I got to know better people I thought I already knew. And I watched twilight spread across the sky from many a vantage, always in generous company... and often with someone else doing the grilling. And that, my friends, is foam finger, summer pennant worthy.

So, Happy Labor Day, y'all. I guess.

Wait, it's Labor Day... Wtf?!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Getting There

Earlier this summer my doctor informed me of her deep desire to put me under anesthesia and poke around on me a bit. And so I needed a ride to the hospital. I lined it up accordingly - a friend to drop me off, a friend to pick me up. The procedure wasn't a big deal and I figured I'd be trying on shoes at DSW by 3 p.m.

Anesthesia usually has minimal residual effects on me.

Hell yeah I want some more crackers! and When are you gonna wheel me out of this staph-infested hell-hole! is typically my attitude post such procedures.

And such was the case this time around. I was talking all kinds of smug smack in the recovery room, rolling my eyes at weaker, lesser minded patients, eating graham crackers and sucking down corn-syrupy Sprite like it was my job, scoffing at the suggestion I might want to nap later.

Hahaha, weaklings. Apparently you don't know who I am!

But anesthesia had different plans for me when they wheeled me out. Sinister, evil and totally bitchy plans, which consisted of handing me my ass for about 36 hours for my recovery room hubris.

Even though we weren't really there yet, my schmoyfriend was all, "I'll take you to the hospital... I guess." I believe his thought process went something like, "Well damn, she needs a ride to Christ. If I take her and act all nice then I'll get super duper schmoyfriend brownie points. But if she gets sick in my car, it's freakin' on."

Because the thought of him seeing me in a backless hospital gown (sexxxy!) and an operating room hair net was exactly what I thought we needed, I took him up on the offer and let my friends off the hook.

Hey, you guys, want to know a real quick way to get there with your schmoyfriend?! Nearly throw up in his fancy European car. Better still, nearly throw up in it about 5 times. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! And demand he pull over each time you feel sick on the 1.6 mile drive from the hospital to downtown so you can puke… in the 'hood, y'all!

As I heaved alongside the car I thought, I am going to be so PISSED if I get shot just trying to vomit on Sycamore Street.

Suddenly, we were there.

What is the blue book value on vomiting in someone's car? What do you owe them for letting you suffer all their couch all night and move the rug around in the bathroom so you can more comfortably puke in their toilet?

Outside of the influence of being vomity, vulnerable and in a post-anesthesia death wish, I don't know what that price is. But under those influences I offered "something nice... how about dinner at Jeff Ruby's."

This sounds self-less, but it wasn't. I happen to love well-done filet mignon (don't hate), potatoes made with heavy cream (read, crack) and fancy wine. And for the generosity of letting me vomit at his place, the price tag was worth every penny.

I think we toasted to hospital gowns.

Sometimes you just need a ride. Like to the airport.

But sometimes you need more than a ride, sometimes you need someone to be there... to help you out of the car and to put the trash can beside the couch so you can throw up.

The Weddings I Attend Are Boring...



compared to this one. TGIF!

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Case You Missed It



Look, the weekend wasn't going to light itself on fire, y'all. Someone had to do it, and that someone was moi. (That's French for 'Gina.')

By Wednesday I had already declared that the entire summer was to be perfectly expressed in a 36-hour window of awesomeness and amazement. The weekend to end all summer weekends.*

Reds game, helmet sundae, fireworks, pool, shopping, grilling out, etc etc.

Etc etc = watching Rosie grind on Gapper. 'Cause nothing says summer like mascots behaving all Jersey Shore.

Now you know what was up this weekend.

*Even though it's still 90 degrees outside, I get cagey about summer being over when school supplies show up in the seasonal aisle at Target, which immediately sends me over the edge and right over to the boxed wine aisle.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Summer BFF



I am so in love with this song I want to marry it and cook it breakfast. More about Tennis.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What It's Like To Fall From Space - Transfixing



Just before the two minute mark the booster separates from Space Shuttle STS-124 and a camera captures the free-fall to Earth. Wait for it, the last 60 seconds a smile will spread across your face.

Splendid.

Tgif!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Now More Awake!



Observations from being a awake at 6 am:

• But, but… I was just starting REM sleep.

• Blink, blink, blink. It's... dark

• Omg, I'm BLIND!

• Wait... ohhhhh, the sun hasn't risen yet.

• I can totally put on make-up in the dark. And Visine.

• Everyone else on the planet is still asleep, laughing at me in their dreams.

• Hold up. Is the cat talking to me? Oh right, I'm actually still asleep.

• Traffic lights? Phssht. Disregard. There's no traffic at this hour.

• O.M.G. Look at all this parking!

Arrive at 6:30 am meeting - Look, I don't know what cesspool in hell you monsters crawled out of, but I hope you go back there. (In my head.)

• Now, everyone raise their hand, Who likes to rise and shine all early and get shiz done?! All rightty, you go getters!! Now back the hell away from me because we are not friends.

• P.S. This post has nothing to do with First Watch other than I think their logo looks really awake. Like it's already had two Triathlete omelettes and a pot of coffee.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Got Game by the Pound



Did Blackstreet have more than one song? Who cares, because the best one, this one, was playing in the Clifton Chipotle yesterday during lunchtime.

Dave said, "Chipotle is throwing it down."

I was 'bout to turn it out when Dave got low then did that leg thing I haven't seen since the '90s. You know what I'm talking about.

I can't get her out of my mind
(WOW?!)
I think about the girl all the time


It was ON. Then we ordered burritos.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

*snif, snif... My Baby!



I smacked its ass and brought this seven pounds of peaches, sugar, flour and cinnamon into the world.

Because all baked fruit dishes should weigh as much as a newborn.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gina and the Giant Peaches



My late brother's peach tree is dragging the ground with peaches this year and last week I brought back several bags of not-quite-ripe peaches from my trip home.

I'll make a crisp, I thought. Easy.

For three days a cookie sheet and a pizza pan sat covered in ripening peaches on my dining room table, patiently waiting for time to turn them into the deliciously smelling peachy goodness that is summertime. I'd sit at my computer watching them ripen, encouraging them to be the best peaches they could be.

Give me a P! Give me an E! You guys will become the most delicious crisp on the planet. Gooooo peaches!

Last Thursday evening came around and I decided it was "go-time." With my super-secret peach peeling and slicing technique Carolyn taught me I figured it'd take me 30 minutes, max.

Riiiiight. In shocking news, I grossly underestimated the time it takes to peel and slice 900 pounds of peaches, even with kitchen ninja skillz. It took forever. As in, This-is-the-longest-I've-ever-been-in-my-kitchen forever.

Not to mention, peaches are weird. Their insides are all kinda... tentacle-y and fibrous around the pit. And red. Like some sorta peach blood. Plus those tentacle-y fibers cling to the pit for dear life. I must have jammed 40 pointy peach pit ends under my thumbnail digging those damn things out.

And do you have any idea what slippery little devils super ripe peaches are? I bet you don't. But let me assure you, I'd rather step on a banana peel than a ripe peach.

Halfway my epic skinning and slicing of one babillion peaches I was covered in gooey peach juice and sucking my sore thumb. It was peach freakin' bloodbath, people. Little chalk outlines of peaches everywhere. The cats were like, "Wtf is going on in here?!"

I needed help, and lots of it. Hmm... What would Martha Stewart do? Naturally, I decided she would call Carolyn, queen of the dark kitchen arts. I was totally calm. "Carolyn!!! What the eff am I going to do with all these peaches?!"

She was totally surprised to hear from me.

"I knew you were gonna call... Ok, do you have lemon juice? (crickets) Of course you don't have lemon juice. Do you have sugar? Ok, sprinkle sugar on them and put them in the freezer. Hope you like smoothies!"

Eventually I couldn't deal with it anymore and found myself halfway through a bottle of screw top wine (don't judge) when my schmoyfriend kicked in the door to rescue me, er rather, to rescue the peaches.

"Can I take charge here, is that ok? You seem overwhelmed."

Really. I seemed overwhelmed. Folks, I was drowning in peaches. So while I stood around getting drunk he sugared and bagged and pectin'd the peaches. I might be ignorant, but I'm resourceful in my choice of friends.

The next day I went to make my "crisp" and discovered my flour expired in 2008. How is that possible, how does flour expire?

But check this out, did you guys know that putting sugar on fruit creates some kind of natural fruity syrupy stuff? Like that deliciously gooey strawberry shortcut stuff only not high fructose corn syrup from a bag, but rather, natural delicious fruit gooey stuff... Yeah, FACT. It's pretty much a miracle of chemistry, fruit and sugar.

I should probably get my own cooking show.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ignoramus



Boss Man: Your life is so easy.

Me: Phssht. That's what you think. You don't know anything about me.

Boss Man: I know that your life is easy.

Me: Like hell... I have to peel and slice five pounds of peaches when I get home. Then I have to make a "crisp" with them, which you need a casserole dish for, apparently. Who owns a casserole dish?!

Three colleagues all offer to loan me theirs.

Me: Oh. Right.

Then because she is smarter than me, Carolyn intervened and told me step-by-step how to peel peaches quickly, then how to score and slice them all Martha Stewart-like.

Me: Whoa, who knows this kinda stuff?! It's miracle!

Boss Man: Maybe the reason your life is so hard is because you're so ignorant.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Missed The Kick



Ever since I saw Inception I keep waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio to enter my dreams and walk around looking hott. What's a girl gotta do to get dream stalked these days?

So Inception… basically it goes like this: Some dude wants to plant an idea (hence, inception) in someone's dream so one energy company can best another. Energy companies. *shrug. And there's this dude who is all sad because his dad doesn't love him or something. *shrug. And that girl from Juno runs around as the narrator, essentially, because sometimes it's kind of confusing. And that kid from 500 Days of Summer's character is boring.

Meanwhile, Leo runs around as a guy named Cobb looking gorgeous and incepting me. Wait.

But forget the caper and those characters. The most interesting aspect of the movie is the wild card - Mal, Cobb's dead wife. Beautiful and eerie and lovelorn and probably insane. The rest of the movie, backdrop. Window dressing for cool effects and gun battles. (Though I'd argue the scenes in my dreams are more interesting, the colors more vivid, the situations more surreal.)

Cobb is accused of maybe killing his wife, and so he spends the movie trying to get his kids back, which is nice and all, I guess, but mostly I wanted to know what was going to happen with him and his siren dead wife who kept popping up all over the place wrecking stuff. She may be dead, but the ghost of their old love certainly isn't. Will they live together in dreamland forever? Will he let her go? Can he just keep visiting her via the rickety elevator of his subconscious? Their story is only human element of the movie, and it is the best.

I guess I hoped they pulled off the inception for the energy company. I mean, I guess I didn't want them to die or whatever. But mostly, eh, I was along for the ride.

The ending is ambiguous and I liked it that way. Does Cobb end up with his kids, or no? Is the whole movie a dream? Or just maybe the ending? Maybe Mal was right, maybe we were in Cobb's dream the whole time. Or maybe I was dreaming... it was a really long movie.

All of this is to say I enjoyed Inception. It was entertaining. I also enjoyed the popcorn, Milk Duds, Diet Coke and cushy chair - and boy did I need it because this baby comes in at 2.5 hours. The best part though was when my schmoyfriend (look, I just can't say the words, ok?) imitated a rabid groundhog halfway through. But that was totally unrelated to the movie, but I did laugh so hard I cried.

Inception: B.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Tryin' To Get To Heaven


Mowed down Virgin Mary statue, not shown.

Because it's not awesome enough that I have to visit my brother in the cemetery, but whenever I am there I also get a big granite reminder that my parents, too, will be joining him, eventually.

Ray and Susie are nothing if not prepared. They've got their plot bought, their headstone engraved and in place, their funerals already paid for. This is so, "Gina, when we die, you don't have to worry about all that nonesense. You'll have enough trouble spending all of our riches." Then we laugh, hard.

The last time I visited my brother's grave there was this beat-up plastic statue of the Virgin Mary next to his plot. I winked at the Gods for this bit of amusement.

Hahaha. Of all the places for the Blessed Virgin to land, she ends up here. Does Billy even know Jesus had a mom, who was a virgin? Hahaha.

We are not a religious family. We are certainly not Hail Mary-ing Catholics. The only person I know who goes to church is my mom, and she doesn't even believe in heaven or hell. My only form of religion is buying those cool Mexican religious votive candles with Jesus and Mary and Joseph on them in the international food aisle at Bigg's.

God, I love those candles.

But there was Mary. All 5 inches of her, serene and draped in white and blue... and chewed-up looking... at my brother's grave.

Shit Billy. When you'd get all religious on me? I sniffled and giggled at the same time.

I imagined Mary's spiritual journey to this lowly spot in her plastic statue life. Some deeply religious person probably got her at some church gift shop, placed her on a loved ones grave with a sincere prayer of peace and love and the hope that one day, when deal goes down, they will run open armed to each other and sit watching the daffodils sway in the breezes of heaven. But then the groundskeeper, just trying to get his job done and get paid, probably listening to Black Sabbath on his iPod, ran over Mary with his cutting blades, flinging her across the grass to land hopelessly - and possibly taking that poor person's prayers with her - at my brother's headstone.

The indignity.

I went home and told my mom this story - Hahaha, Billy has a little plastic beat-up statue of Mary leaning on his tombstone.

Oh, I think the Mary is nice, my mom happily informed me. Then she went back to piddling around the kitchen - la-la-la-la.

Wait, whaaat?

Turns out, it was my mom who put the Mary there and is, therefore, responsible for Her getting run over by a lawnmower.

I will not repeat the rest of the story of how it came to pass that Susie Daugherty put the Virgin Mary at my brother's grave because certainly hell, fire and damnation would strike us all, and possibly burnout out the eyeballs of any religious person reading this post, but believe me, it. is. a. doozy.

Mary, I am sorry you got chewed up by lawn mower on our watch.

Friday, July 30, 2010

She Seems To Have An Invisible Touch-ay



Chambaland has made all necessary adjustments to Katy Perry’s first draft, and we now have the song of the summer.


You're gonna want to turn this UP. Get the MP3 here.

I have two ears and a heart, don't I?

Friday, July 23, 2010

*tears!!



Because the folks at the Huffington Post says it better than I can, and because I am laughing so hard I can't think for myself:

This guy really likes rainbows. I mean REALLY likes them. Then again, if I was some hiker dude (probably on mushrooms) and I saw a FULL DOUBLE rainbow, I'd probably enter crazypants mode as well. Watch as YouTube user Hungrybear9562 (amazing) goes through an intense emotional cycle, starting with "Woahs" and "Oh my Gods" and leading to crying, laughing, and wistfully asking the sky, "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?" It's so hilariously awkward that by the end of the 3 minutes you'll be laughing and crying along with him.


Rainbows, unicorns and TGIF, y'all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stop. Hammer time.



There is this game I play with people, often even when they don't know they're playing, where I'll shout out whatever artist is playing on the radio, iPod, song from a car driving past, whatever.

Three notes of synthesizer from Say You, Say Me… Lionel Richie!!
The opening rap to Heard It All Before… Sunshine Anderson!!
The tinkling piano keys of Airplanes… B.o.B.!!
The bubble pop of Somebody to Love… Justin Bieber!! (oh wait, just kidding, I don't really know that one… omg embarrassing.)

In my head it's always Game, ON.

Shouting Madonna at whoever is in the car with me when Cherish comes on is just how I do. Following that up with, "Omg, you just got served a big ol' fat order of shut-the-hell-up" is also how I do.

Oh, you didn't know we were playing? Oh, well I don't really care. Ke$ha!!

It's fun for me to see how people react to this little game.

There was this one night I was peeing at this bar, heard the muffled sounds of Caught Up In You, charged out of the bathroom, rolled up to this dude I barely knew and shouted, ".38 Special, yeah... suck it!!!" and threw my hands in the air all, "In your face!"

That was a glorious moment. His brow crinkled with a "What the hell is wrong with you?" expression. But I know in his heart he was thinking, "This girl is amazing!"

One friend of mine can really hand me my ass when it comes to '70s and '80s rock, and he gets super aggressive about it… shouting "AC/DC!" or "The Who!" at me. Then he'll grab the steering in triumph and yell, "OH! MY! GOD! THAT JUST SUCKED FOR YOU!"

But… this is the same friend who when I serve him his lack of pop-knowledge on an '80s synthesizer will angrily turn off the radio and pout that he's not playing anymore. Hee hee hee. Some people are really sore losers in this game.

But not me, because I am awesome at it. I might lose a few battles, but I win the war, folks. Especially when the WIZ is on. Yes, yes I do believe I am the only girl who has backward skated to Glenn Jones' We've Only Just Begun. And certainly no one in a car with me would know this song because they didn't roll at the Idyl Wyld Roller Palace in Marion, Indiana where they spun '80s and '90s R&B during my formative years.

Hi-Five. New Edition. Dana Dane. Oran "Juice" Jones.

You Can't Touch This.

And speaking of… MC Hammer is performing at the Reds game Friday night. I'll see you fools you there. Mmm hmmm… I'm wearing a bra and biking shorts. I don't know why that look ever went out of style.

2 legit, 2 legit to quit. Haaay haaaay!!!

Tgif!

Monday, July 12, 2010

PSA: Don't Tell Your Doctor or Anyone Anything



If you're at Fountain Square on a Saturday night, just minding your own bid'ness watching Apollo 13 on that screen sponsored by Macy's (thanks Macy's!) and you pee blood and some clots again, just keep it to yourself.

You know why? Because everyone and their brother's-sister's-cousin will come at you like a freakin' tsunami when you say,'Geezus Christ almighty, you should have seen how bloody my pee was on Saturday! Clots mean I'm healing, right?'

And whatever you do, do not casually tell your doctor this happened when you're just trying to reschedule another appointment. Because your doctor will lose her shizzle all over you on the phone when you tell her you're probably too busy to come in… indefinitely.

Because nobody will understand that you can see around corners they can't and you already know everything is going to be a-ok because on Saturday night you dreamed you were being bounced around in a gale storm in the Gulf, tossed about with sea foam, BP oil and giant hunks of debris in 40 foot waves, and while it sucked and was exhausting and freezing and you wanted it to be over with, it was also kind of an interesting ride, like a rollercoaster, only wet and oilier, and you washed up on the shore tired but totally fine. (Except you were wearing acid washed jeans... so, mostly fine.)

And even though the dream wasn't really about your bladder it's all still connected and illuminating and armed with this sense of security you go ahead and succumb to your doctor's orders only to be told during another camera in your pee-hole experience (why stop at just one, party people?!), 'Hey, your bladder looks a lot better; blood and clots are signs of healing in this case,' which is what you said all along and you could have just avoided the hassle.

But you will get another little jar of M&Ms, which might be worth it if they were peanut M&Ms, but whatever, you'll eat them anyway.

So don't tell your doctor or anyone anything, unless you really want that little jar of M&Ms. And don't forget to thank your pal Rachel who offered to front bail money and a ride home if you did happen to lose your shiz and assault anyone who might mention another pee bag. And thank God it didn't come to that because you know she has a newborn and can't just be driving to the jail whenever your ass gets tossed in the slammer, because what kind of role model would you be then, and besides infants can't eat M&Ms so bribing them to forgive you is nearly impossible and Rachel would not be happy about that anyway.

This has been a public service announcement. And another photo of my bladder.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Because I'm A Jerk, That's Why

My sincerest apologies for not posting more photos of my orange boyfriend sooner. I was temporary blinded by his blue sequined banana hammock and orangey-ness.

Here. Please forgive me.


It's not every day you see a hott stud like this just walking in a parade, but it should be. (Former colleagues will note 'the Scorcher' in the foreground.)



What's that? You want a close-up of the full monty? Well, here ya go. Note how closely we are holding each other, and how our sunglasses almost match. Soulmates.


Also at the Northside parade last weekend, Touchdown Jesus rose again!





With love and salvation,
Gina

Friday, July 09, 2010

Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Game



The real reason LeBron chose Miami over Akron is because the owner of the Cavs uses suck-ass fonts in his open letter hissy fit to fans.

Geez Dan Gilbert. It's not like Tiger Woods cheated on you with prostitutes. Cowardly betrayal? Curses in Comic-Sans? ALL CAPS promises of championships? You'll be sorry, LeBron, you… you… jerk!

I too am disappointed. Ohio will be a lot less hott without LeBron in it. And I'd be mad too if I got dumped via text, er TV. But easy there psycho-lovelorn-cry baby. You're making LeBron look like the adult here.

I get it. What a great cinderella story had he stayed his entire career in the hometown that drafted him, built him up, built their whole world around him. But then again, no. It's his path. The kid's gotta make his own way, and sometimes that means leaving home. I outgrew my hometown too. It's not you, it's us. (Well, it's partially you. But thankfully I'm not talented or rich enough for them to notice and write me hatemail.)

He's an insanely talented 25-year-old kid who wants to play ball and win championships. If he thinks he can do that best in Miami, well, play on playa. I'll be wearing my No. 23 Cavs t-shirt tonight in solidarity.

Meanwhile, enjoy the greatest commercial ever made. Oh Lord!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Days Were Just Packed



It was like the whole summer was packed into the Fourth of July weekend. Pool, diving board, bike ride in the dark, fireworks, parade, strawberry milkshakes, Nada outside, a movie at Fountain Square.

This happened.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fireworks, Freedom, Sunshine, & Fierceness (Oh My!)



Please click, print and select all that apply for your weekend entertainment.*

*you're welcome for creating this for you guys!

Swing And A Miss



How have I missed this spectacular Dap Kings infused, Mark Ronson re-version of Bob's "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)," people?

Horns! Drums! Swinging beats! I had the pleasure of seeing the Dap Kings a few months ago with Sharon Jones at the Southgate House. I'll be spending my three-day weekend on my petition to be the only female Dap King. (Come on fellas, show your girl some love here!)

While I'm pleading, please enjoy this stellar, tour de Bob Dylan's iconic career. All the scenes, looks and decades are here folks. Great stuff.

I just can’t do what I done before
I just can’t beg you anymore
I’m gonna let you pass
And I’ll go last
Then time will tell just who fell
And who’s been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine


Bob said that.

Tgi-three day weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Night Jesus Got Struck By Lightning



We were watching this storm cloud roll over the S Building in Clifton. I said I wished I could catch a bolt of lightning in a photo, to which Carolyn said, 'The night that Jesus got struck by lightning…'

Ha! It's the Cincinnati version of, 'Where were you when Kennedy got shot?'

I was in bed, nursing my pee bag, and received an email from a friend in Venezuela with the subject, 'Big Butter Jesus is no more.'

God is an arsonist, y'all. And no, I will never get tired of this.

Friday, June 18, 2010

He Is Risen



"Umm yeah, the Jesus is on fire."

Tgif!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How I Ended Up With A Hole In My Bladder and A Bag of Bloody Urine Taped To My Leg... Or, Why Stadium Buddies Are Awesome!

Where were we? Oh right. I peed out that giant blood clot.

Yesterday I went to a urologist because, lo-and-behold, it seems if you pee out one blood clot more are surely to follow, and so it was, my pee was riddled with blood clots.

This is probably totally normal, I told myself. Noooo big deal. Nothing to see here.

But the urologist was all, "Ummm, this is not normal. And given your... (pause) history, we need a full workup. A CT-scan and a cystoscopy."

I was calm. Cool. Collected. Ok, I said, that sounds fine, but what's a cystocopy?

OMG?! You're gonna stick a camera up my pee hole?!

When you've had my "history" (read: Oh crap, she had cancer is probably going to die right in front of me at any second), doctor's talk to you a certain way. It's a hushed tone. Like, 'Well, you probably don't have anything serious wrong with you, but because of your history, there is legitimate cause for... concern'

I always get pissed about this.  

Look, jerk-faces. I don't need you to imply that there might be something wrong with me because there isn't and I'm only doing these tests to confirm to you I was right all along, so suck it.

I could tell the urologist lady was a bit fearful of what the CT-scan might show (who isn't, right?) but ultimately she thought I had radiation cystitis. So I'll pee blood forever, whatevs.

On the CT-scan table I could feel tears streaming down the side of my face.

I was crying, but I wasn't "upset," per se. It was mostly because CT-scan contrast makes me feel like I have to vomit and wet my pants all at the same time, and the CT-scan machine kind of gives me flashbacks. Plus, what if they do find something?! Omg, I'm gonna die... and I never learned to read!

Oh wait. Nevermind.

Back at the doctor's office post-CT scan, the urologist comes barging in as soon as I get into the room, plops down and says, 'This is unexpected and... interesting.'

Oh for God's sake, lady! Just get on with it! Am I dying die or not?!

Turns out, y'all, my IUD had punctured my bladder and was stuck in there. So she put a camera into my pee hole to get a closer look while I took pictures of the monitor, and I'll be damned, there was part of my IUD, in my bladder, with blood clots swishing around everywhere.




The good news, though, is as we were going, "Holy eff! Look at that!" she noted my bladder is the picture of health — what radiation, fools?! — and is in such great shape that it could probably win the World Cup.  

Gooooaaaallll!

I didn't say it, but I totally wanted to rub it in her face all, "Told you I was bulletproof. Suck it!"

[Ronson described urologists as "the truckers of the medical community." Hilarious and true. This woman was brash and agile with humor and swear-words. I totally loved her.] 

Conveniently for me, my urologist's office is next to a gynecologists office, and the two doctor ladies are pals. So the gyno came over and consulted on how they were going to get the IUD out of my bladder.

After an unexpected pelvic exam — thanks random gyno lady from across the hall! — they decided it could NOT come out of my hoo-ha because of scar tissue from radiation damage.




So the urologist was all, 'I bet I can get it out via her urethra.' It was then that I pretended to pass out. But I was totally numb "down there" and started chanting, "Pull. It. Out! Pull. It. Out!" Which she did, out of my pee hole, using a camera and what looked like really tiny cooking tongs. 



One minute I'd be cracking jokes during all this, the next minute I'd be crying because, well, I was traumatized from having a piece of plastic protruding into my bladder and I was lying on a table looking at it.

As she tossed the newly freed IUD into a cup she said, "You want to keep it, show your friends?"

I would but my friends are kinda lame, I told her. I'd have taken a photo for you guys but I was hysterical over what happened next.

So the urologist says I can't just go home with a hole in my bladder — Why the hell not? It hasn't been a problem until now, I argued — and that I'd need a catheter.

A catheter?! Holy shiz. I saw my life flash before my eyes, y'all... no more swimming, no more bikinis, cute dresses or short-shorts, just long Mennonite jean skirts and baggy pants for the rest of my grim, grim life. I was sobbing.

"You only need the catheter for few days, until the hole heals."

Oh. Right.

Apparently bladders heal quickly, who knew. So if you're going to puncture an internal organ, the bladder is not so bad, minus the catheter. So until Thursday I have a tube coming out of my pee hole and a bag of bloody urine strapped to my leg.

But it's kinda awesome because I never have to get up to pee. Imagine how great it'd be at a bar. Not only attention grabbing (who wouldn't want to date me with this thing?!) but also useful, no more waiting in line or worrying if there's toilet paper.

I'm excited to show it to my coworkers tomorrow. It's a badge of honor really. I think they'll be stoked to see it.

I emailed my Boss Man about the whole thing, using the words "vaginally" and "IUD" and "bloody urine pee bag" to let him know I'd need a day at home to recuperate. I could have just said, "I'm sick," but I didn't want to half-ass it.

I made the mistake of telling my mom this whole ordeal — moms, they worry you know — and she was flipping out that I am considering getting another IUD. Is that weird? I mean, it was awesome for 2.5 years... minus this pee bag thing right now and the hole in my bladder.

Some people are just really sensitive. (Mom, I'm lookin' at you).

Anyway, after it was all over I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but then they gave me a sucker and some M&Ms that say 'Be nice to me, I had a cysto' on them and I was totally fine.



Mostly. Except I was too tired to go get my prescriptions so I called Ronson when I got home and was all, "I was peeing blood clots and they discovered my IUD had punctured my bladder and then they had to pull it out through my pee hole today and now I have a catheter and a pee bag strapped to my leg and I'm exhausted soooo, can you do me a favor..."

To which he replied, "I am terrified of what you are going to ask me right now."

He was grateful I just needed him to run to Walgreens for me. (And I didn't even make him look at my catheter, because I'm a good friend like that.)

I spent today checking email, filling in colleagues and emptying my pee bag. Then about 5 p.m. these lovely flowers were delivered to me! They are from my Boss Man and colleagues and the card says, "Sorry you're peeing blood! We feel punctured by your absence."

Ha!



Later on I'm walking over (slowly) to Yagoot with Erin and her husband and I'm getting the medium cup of Yagoot, because I deserve it, damn it.

Why God, Why?!



Touchdown Jesus and my red pepper plant... why has thou forsaken me?